Travel News: New airport terminals in Phuket and Yangon improve travel to Asia!

Asia is home to some of the best airports in the world, including Singapore’s Changi airport, regularly voted “best in the world”, and Seoul’s Incheon. With the rapid growth of air travel to and around airport, the pressure on existing infrastructure is ongoing and there are construction and expansion projects going on around the region. The latest new airport terminals to open are in Yangon, Myanmar’s capital and Phuket, the popular Thai beach destination!

With more than 8 million international visitors in 2015, Phuket is the most popular beach destination in Thailand and all of Asia. And the island airport has been stretched far beyond it’s capacity. After several delays, the new international airport received its first international flights last week. Symbolically, all four of the test flights came from China, responsible for much of the growth in visitor numbers over the last few years.

artist rendering of the new international terminal

artist rendering of the new international terminal

As the next phase, the old terminal – now used for domestic flights – will be renovated while continuing to operate. Visitors arriving via the country’s biggest airports in Bangkok will have to deal with the ongoing construction for about a year, before that renovation is scheduled to finish.

While air travel has grown rapidly across all of Asia, it has exploded in Myanmar ever since the countries opening to the rest of the world. Since 2010, traffic has grown 4x, with 4.7 million passengers arriving in the capital Yangon in 2015 and 8 million international arrivals expected by 2019. To accommodate all those international arrivals, Yangon opened its new international earlier this year. The existing international terminal has been renamed Terminal 2 and a new domestic terminal is under construction. I have a trip to Myanmar planned for later this year and look forward to checking out the new terminal (minus the balloons)!

opening celebration at new Yangon international terminal

opening celebration at new Yangon international terminal

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